Kempinski Hotels Company Opens Serengeti Lodge

The East African Business Week (EABW) has recently announced the opening of the latest addition to the lodges in the Tanzania tourism sector with the launch of the Kempinski Hotels Company’s five-star lodge in Serengeti National Park.

According to this report, the hotel developer has promised to continue investing in more luxury hotels across the country

“We promise to build more hotels in Tanzania,” said Ali Saeed Albwardy of ASB Tanzania Limited, who is also the chairman of the hotel developer.

“We are ready to invest in more hotels because the investment atmosphere is right,” he added, “We have been in Tanzania for five years and already we have invested in Kilimanjaro Hotel, Kempinski in Dar es Salaam and Zamani Hotel in Zanzibar.”

The location of the 160-bed lodge is near the route of annual mass migration of wildebeests, half a million zebras and thousands of antelopes, which travel from the Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Maasai Mara Wildlife Park every November

President Jakaya Kikwete, who spoke at the hotel’s inauguration, praised the hotel as one of the best in the country.

“Bilila Lodge Kempinski is one of the best I have seen,” he said, “it’s spectacular and an architectural marvel of its kind. I have a big passion for wildlife and have been to all Tanzania national wildlife parks, but Bilila Lodge is a class of its own.”

In 2006, the park was officially recognized as the ‘Seventh Wonder of the World’ and has since become an increasingly popular tourist attraction, with the number of tourists increasing by 15% annually.

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President Kikwete went on to say that the hotel’s presence in the Serengeti would help to increase the country’s visibility

Currently, the park supports four different as well as several tented camps, provide a combined total of 3,400 beds a day for incoming tourists.

However, President Kikwete said that, in spite of one study that was conducted by an American firm indicating that the Serengeti Park was capable of accommodating as many as ten additional hotels, the Tanzania government saying should use caution in allowing the construction of additional hotels.

“You should go steadily at it,” he said, “Insist on high-class hotels […] they must reflect low volume with high-value tourism or else it will destroy the national park.”

According to the President’s instructions, the government should meet with the district leaders surrounding the park in order to ensure that they were not allowing the construction of numerous budget hotels, which could easily result in an overflow of cheap tourists in the wildlife park, which is home to the largest concentration of wildebeests in the world, big and small ruminants as well as many types of birds.